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The Eternal - Waiting For The Endless Dawn (2018) - Review

Band: The Eternal
Album title: Waiting For The Endless Dawn
Release date: 17 August 2018
Label: Inverse Records

01. The Wound
02. Rise From Agony
03. A Cold Day To Face My Failure
04. I Lie In Wait
05. Don't Believe Anymore
06. In The Lilac Dusk
07. Waiting For The Endless Dawn

"Drag me to the moon, to catch a star and seize its brilliance as I'm swept up in amorphous dust."

Doom metal hasn't sounded so very intriguing and adventurous for a long time, actually I see that rare are the bands in todays doom metal scene who have the guts to create something that transcends the genre and at a certain point reinveints it. That's what the Melbourne (Australia) based The Eternal did on their sixth full-length Waiting For The Endless Dawn. It seems that since Martin Powell (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Cradle Of Filth, ex-Anathema,...) joined the band for good on their as well amazing previous album, When The Circle Of Light Begins To Fade (2013), the things went darker and already showed that the band is again moving slightly towards more melancholic and doomy sound.

I guess that The Eternal after their rather controversial but still good album Under A New Sun (2010), which showed the band exploring 70s progressive rock waters, had many options how to continue, or trying to go back to their roots, or to continue with the progressive approach and risking to loose their loyal fans. I'm glad that the band decided to take the first option and if it didn't pay off already on the previous album, where the band was still experimenting a bit with various sounds, now it most certainly will, because the band masterminded by the sound guru Mark Kelson, by taking this step they in a way reached kind of a return to the roots, but at the same time The Eternal made something more than unique, something otherworldly, diverse, gloomiest and absolutely the most adventurous yet strongest album in their career.

Waiting For The Endless Dawn is a melancholic opus that contains seven songs with a playing time of 75 minutes, and yes, most of the songs are lenghty, some almost epic, like the 20 minutes long opener "The Wound", a cinematic statement that connects in a way this album with previous one and takes the listener from moments of progressive, emotive rock, gothic metal, all the way to slow drudging doom metal. Almost all of the songs build up in tension so very dramatically, just listen to the intense "A Cold Day To Face My Failure" or to the mournful "I Lie In Wait". The songs might be long but there's so much going on while The Eternal throughout keep the very melancholic and dark ambiance. As well the instrumental side is from the technical point of view just perfect and Mark did a perfect job with production on this album. 

The songs are highly evocative, there are so many addictive sombre melodies, progresive escapades, trippy guitar leads and memorable riffs, haunting expansive keys, strong rhythms, yet there's addition of violin and piano on certain segments to make everything even more gothic, audacious and sophisticated. Mark's voice was never before so very dark and dynamic, but still he's keeping that emotional character like on previous album, he even tries to go harsh here and there. The highlight of the album must be the song "In The Lilac Dusk" where the band is joined by guest vocalist Mikko Kotamäki of Finnish doom masters Swallow The Sun, experimenting with their more extreme and obscure side, that gets at the very border of doom/death metal. Pink Floyd influence is constantly present but best evident in the before mentioned opener and even more in the atmospheric utterly captivating goodness named "Don't Believe Anymore", where in the last part Mark gets accompanied on vocals by Emily Saaen to offer a magical vocal duet. The album closes with the fantastic haunting atmospheres of the title track which reminds me to some works in the same style done by My Dying Bride.

No matter how much The Eternal experiment here they don't get too far from doom metal, or maybe, depends what somebody considers as such. Nevertheless, The Eternal's Waiting For The Endless Dawn is a smooth stellar piece of sonic art. The album needs a devoted listen because of so many layers and sub-layers that get discovered more and more by every consequent listen. It's a rich and emotionally quite dense album, sometimes almost lush and solemn that will take you on an unforgettable journey. Without any doubt, Waiting For The Endless Dawn, is one of the doom metal highlights in the last couple of years.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9,5/10


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